A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The road to greatness is rarely smooth; it's how we overcome difficult situations that make us who we are. Good things can come from bad situations. Courage is a clear theme.
Positive Role Models
Astrid is a free spirit, an independent thinker. She questions why boys are given more privileges than girls in her community, is instigator in a romantic relationship. When her choices look to impose life-altering consequences for others, she opts for solution that will lessen the impact on them, at great personal cost to herself. She never takes easy way out.
Violence & Scariness
A depressed character self-harms by banging their head. A story is shared about a pregnant girl who eats matches in an effort to kill the fetus. Arguments/disagreements and sad separations.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A teen girl pursues a sexual relationship with an older married man; she's shown topless during their sexual encounters. Consequences of adultery are substantial, including unwed teen pregnancy.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol at an office party; one drinks to excess. Smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Becoming Astrid is a Swedish-made (and English subtitled) biopic about literary icon Astrid Lindgren. The film focuses on a difficult period in Lindgren's earlier life during the 1920s, before she began writing. As a teenager, Lindgren (Alba August) pursues an affair with her older, married boss. She's shown losing her virginity (not graphic), and her bare breasts are seen in several scenes. She becomes pregnant, which has the potential for serious repercussions due to the rigid views of the time. The film explores the social pressures of the era and offers teens a real-life example of how impetuous actions can result in unforeseen consequences. Lindgren's solutions don't necessarily fly by today's standards, which is why the film presents a fantastic opportunity for discussion. Eventually, Lindgren gets her life on the right track and uses her own character-building experience to become one of the world's most successful authors of children's books. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Getting kids excited about films with subtitles can be a challenge, but this one is worth the trip, as long as viewers understand who Astrid will eventually become and why she's significant. The film begins with an aged Lindgren reading letters from children about what her books mean to them; as Astrid's story then unfolds in a linear fashion, it returns to that device periodically. This lets viewers connect the events or feelings Lindgren experienced with situations and characters from her books. But if you don't know Pippi Longstocking, Emil, Ronia, Annika, etc., the relevance will be lost.
August is effective as a girl who doesn't see the point in following society's imaginary rules of conduct, but -- when she recklessly violates them -- still scrambles to do the least amount of damage. Viewers are told how repressive the environment was at the time, but it may be on the subtle side for teens, making it difficult to follow along in Astrid's shoes when it comes to the choices she makes about her baby. However, as a film about the impact of impetuous choices and the fact that you can rise above unfortunate circumstances, Becoming Astrid is as extraordinary as the author herself.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.